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Spiced pumpkin with lentils, cavolo nero and smoky yogurt


Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 50 minutes

Serves 6

It sounds like a lot of components but each one is simple. You can make yogurt smoky by adding a little oaksmoked water (it’s produced by Halen Môn and stocked by Ocado), or just leave the yogurt plain.


For the lentils and cavolo nero

– 2½ tbsp olive oil

– ½ onion, finely chopped

– ½ celery stick, diced

– 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

– 200g puy or black beluga lentils (black ones are better if you can get them)

– 400g cavolo nero, leaf parts removed and torn into pieces, ribs discarded

– a pinch of chilli flakes

– 200ml dry white wine

– 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

– 1-2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar, to taste

– a good squeeze of lemon, to taste

– 2 tbsp chopped dill

For the pumpkin

– 3 tsp caraway seeds

– ½ tsp ground ginger – a generous grating

of nutmeg

– 4 tbsp olive oil

– 1.5kg pumpkin or squash, deseeded, cut into wedges 2.5cm thick, and peeled if you like

– 20g butter

– ½ tsp hot and sweet paprika

For the yogurt

– 400g Greek yogurt

– 1 tsp oak-smoked water (more if you think it needs it, but go easy)

– 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


Heat the oven to 200C/ 190C fan/gas mark 6.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion and celery. Sauté until soft but not coloured. Add one chopped garlic clove and cook for a further two minutes, then add the lentils and enough water to cover by about 5cm. Bring to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender (they may need longer, depending on their age, but they must retain their shape).

Meanwhile, cook the pumpkin. Mix together the caraway seeds, ginger, nutmeg and olive oil. Put the wedges in a roasting tin and pour the spicy mixture over them, using your hands to make sure the pumpkin gets coated all over. Season. Put into the oven and cook for 20 minutes, or until tender and slightly caramelise­d at the tips, turning the pieces over halfway through.

Put a tablespoon and a half of olive oil in a sauté pan and add the cavolo nero. Sauté for about three minutes, then add the rest of the garlic and the chilli flakes. Cook for another two minutes then add the wine, cover, and cook for about four minutes.

Remove the lid and increase the heat so the wine evaporates. The cavolo nero should still seem bright and be a little ‘chewy’.

Drain the lentils and add four tablespoon­s of extra-virgin olive oil, the balsamic vinegar and lemon juice to taste, the dill and some seasoning. Mix with the cavolo nero and taste again for seasoning.

Mix together the yogurt ingredient­s and season with salt.

Gently reheat the lentils and cavolo nero. Spread them in a broad, shallow serving dish. Put the pumpkin on top. Spoon over the yogurt. Quickly melt the butter and add the paprika. Drizzle this over the dish. The rust-coloured butter looks great against the yogurt.

Serve immediatel­y.

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